Ag Media Summit 2022: All the Things

By Kenna Rathai, 2022 AMS Steering Committee Chair
Ag Communicators Network and Livestock Publications Council member

Are you sitting down?

The 2022 Ag Media Summit is NOT the last week in July or the first week in August. It’s July 16-20. Some of you are cheering right now because you’ll be able to make your county fair, get kids ready for school and attend AMS for the first time ever. Some of you are panicking because there’s something else consistently on your calendar for mid-July. There will always be something, right?

The other big news to know is the location — it’s at the Marriott City Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get ready to head east!

And now, to let you in on the mysterious world of event planning and why these dates and hotel were chosen for 2022. Planning an event is like putting together a puzzle — lots of pieces, and the challenge is finding how they all fit together to make the most complete picture.

  • Yes, we look at a lot of cities and hotels (requests went out to more than 20!). Rest assured, if you’ve thought “Hey, it’d be great to have AMS here,” we’ve probably researched the possibilities.
    The location needs a solid airport. The Raleigh airport, RDU, has passenger service to 57 cities with more than 400 average daily departures.
  • Our group (in “normal” years) is a specific size, and some hotels either aren’t large enough for us — no one wants overflow hotels! — or too big that there is the concern of getting bumped for a much bigger group who wants to come in. And all those session rooms needed…
  • Food and beverage (F&B) costs are incredibly high. In order to keep registration and hotel room costs at a reasonable level, not to mention make up for the losses the last two years, that is one of our main concerns right now. To put this into perspective, a plated lunch event in Chicago costs roughly $90. In Raleigh, it’s $35. Renting meeting space in hotels comes with a fee. Many hotels waive this fee if you book a certain number of rooms, F&B, etc. But some don’t, so that’s another cost to manage. All those session rooms…
  • We know it’s convenient to be in the middle of the country or in drivable-for-many locations. But we also know our group likes to travel, so we’ll continue to strike a balance. For me, the most eye-opening and important challenge for 2022 and even 2023 is that because of the pandemic, a ton of meetings have been pushed to following years with shifting dates and a lot of options just weren’t available. That was the top reason for the date change. And why we’re gearing up to lock in 2023 and even 2024 contracts too.

Stay tuned to the AAEA: Ag Communicator’s Network ByLine, the LPC ActionGram and the Ag Media Summit Facebook page for more details and announcements.

If you have any questions or want to get involved in a committee, contact me at If you have ideas for session topics or speakers, contact our
Program Chair Shelia Grobosky at